Two Hearts (for Kenji)



*I wrote this for Enclave’s #final poem.  Here is the premise:  “If the world were to end next week, what is the final poem you write, the final poem you give away generously, treacherously, genuinely, fearfully, necessarily, beautifully? That tomorrow it may very well all end, and we would know to bear the pain as the day rose and broke. That the present is undying yet death awaits us all. That words can still connect and touch, that we still know how to offer to others a piece of our soul. That space yet expands and we know when to keep breathing and when to stop. That poetry can yet be given and received, from one human being to another.


For so many years you were my oxygen
My breath
My conversational mate
You made me laugh

My heart inside your heart
My hand inside your hand

Before we knew each other we were lost
Two halves wandering
Steps searching
Traveling toward a place to call home

You found me
My arms were wreaths
My intentions were circles
Our laughter was a room filled with jewels

You spoiled me by listening to me
I spoiled you by laughing at your jokes

I hope I gave you enough
I did my best and that was all I had

You were/are/will be
My everything

Nothing will change
When the world comes to an end


Funerals for Fetuses




I wrote this poem about my experiences with having an abortion in 1969, and the humiliation I went through. Unfortunately, politicians are now trying to turn back the clock and outlaw abortion. They need to get their grimy hands off our bodies!

My poem was published by New Verse News on January 18th, 2017.

1969. Nineteen years old and pregnant.
I couldn’t afford to keep the baby.
In those days, before Roe vs Wade,
you had to prove to two psychiatrists
that you were mentally unable to go through
with the pregnancy.
They wrote letters to the medical board of the
hospital performing the abortion.
Insurance didn’t cover the psychiatric visits.

The first psychiatrist asked if I would kill myself
if I didn’t have the abortion.
I said yes, I would take my life,
even though this wasn’t true.
He jotted some notes on a yellow legal pad.
He asked me little else.
The second psychiatrist asked if the sight of a penis
frightened me. I said yes. I lied that the sight of a penis frightened me.
He wrote that down.

My fate was in their hands.
They determined
my future . . .

The state of Texas now requires women
who have abortions or miscarriages
in hospitals,
in abortion clinics
or in other health facilities
to bury or cremate the fetal remains.

In Indiana, Mike Pence signed legislation
to force women to have fetal funerals
for abortions or miscarriages.
This can be carried out by the facility.
A name for the fetus during
transport to the burial ground
is not required.


A Poem for John Lewis




(Written after Trump tweeted that the Congressman was all talk, no action…)


We don’t have many heroes here
It’s not that people aren’t great but not that many fight so hard
Martin Luther King Jr went to jail 30 times for acts of civil disobedience and
John Lewis 45 times…
30, 45 times inside of a jail cell for what they believed in

We have small heroes, everyday heroes, but the big looming ones don’t come around that often and I wonder what makes a hard-fighting hero, one who takes the risk of being beaten and jailed for what they believe in


My personal heroes are often writers,

writers like Jennifer Weiner because she writes about big women and

that makes me feel good because I grew up as a fat kid
Or writers like Maya Angelou because she was never racist no matter what
Or writers like Erica Jong because she advocates for women’s sexuality,

makes me feel that it’s okay to be unapologetically sexual
Or writers like May Sarton because she wrote about living alone and

enjoying her own company. Imagine!
Or writers like Janet Mock because she eloquently explained what it was like to

be born a boy when you’re really a girl
Or writers like Anne Lamott because she finds spirituality in just about any situation
Or Sylvia Plath who put words to mental illness
Or Toni Morrison who introduced me to Sula and writes about friendship
Or Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre who forgave those who hurt her
All these writers in some way made me feel I existed


I am an everyday hero

I am addicted to sugar and haven’t touched it for over 15 years

Kenji is an everyday hero

He’s getting off Klonopin after being on it for 30 years,

living through that nightmare and he will make it

Becky is an everyday hero

She won’t say anything bad about anyone we know even when I try to get her to

Deborah is an everyday hero

She is bouncing back and finding love after a nasty divorce

My students are everyday heroes

The autistic girl who wanders on the playground

The autistic boy who wanders down the hall

The special ed students who try so hard

The students who can’t speak English and ask for help

The students who help each other

The girl who told the acting-out boy to stop it because she wanted to get her education.

The kindergartner who was suspended and asked if it would be okay if she danced for me

The teenage girl who reported to the class that she had found her G spot and it was a really great thing


Dear John Lewis,

Thank you for your heroism

It’s a big heroism

It touches us all

Thank you for saying that you don’t regard T•••p as a

legitimate president because of allegations
of the Russians interfering with the election

Thank you for your fight for black voting rights

Thank you for your brutally hard work during the Civil Rights Movement

Thank you for your work in Congress

Thank you for putting T•••p in his place

And thank you for showing us that someone can still be going strong at 76 years old

Let’s Make Water Sports Great Again


My poem is in response to the news — fake news or not –that Donald Trump paid Russian prostitutes to urinate on each other for his pleasure.

My WikiLeaks

My dickie leaks

My pickie leaks


My prickie leaks

My hickey leaks

My sticky leaks











Urine trouble now!

My Putin leaks

My smutin leaks

Fig newton leaks


My shootin’ leaks

My gluten leaks

My tootin’ leaks


Golden Gate

Golden Hate

Golden Tate


Golden mate

Golden date

Golden rate


My bladder leaks

My ladder leaks

Mad Hatter leaks


My vagi leaks

My veggie leaks

My wedgie leaks


Golden Shame

Golden Blame

Golden Aim


Golden Fame

Golden Dame

Golden Came















My WikiLeaks

My lickie leaks

I don’t know who to blame.

Shame shame shame — that 

Bed will never be the same!




My poem, a reaction to Donald Trump proclaiming that actress Meryl Streep is overrated, was published at Poets Reading the News.



She’s not that great of an actress really. Once you get nominated,
it happens again and again.
You know how that goes. I hated her in Sophie’s Choice.
That movie depressed me.

That woman role in Kramer vs Kramer – sappy.
Dustin Hoffman on man-duty. Give me a break.
Or what about The Iron Woman, or The Iron Lady. Whatever it was.
One of the most boring movies I ever sat through.
Tell me, if she hadn’t been Meryl Streep, would she even have been nominated?


Pavarotti was overrated
The Beatles were overrated
Nietzsche was overrated
Einstein was overrated
Tolstoy was overrated
Atwood is overrated
The pope is overrated
Madame Curie was overrated

Spielberg is overrated
Michael Jordan is overrated
Mother Teresa was overrated
Streep is overrated
The beep is overrated
The deep is overrated
The weep is overrated
Sleep is overrated


Let’s hear it for the snub
Let’s hear it for the low road
Let’s hear it for the put down

Let’s hear it for the dark side
Let’s hear it for the cut

Let’s hear it for the insult
Let’s hear it for the sneer

Let’s hear it for the dig


The meep is overrated

The eep is overrated

The leap is overrated

The veep is overrated

That creep is overrated

The deep is overrated

That sheep is overrated

Skeep is overrated

The peep is overrated

The meep is overrated

The queep is overrated

The zeep is overrated

The feep is overrated

Sharif is overrated

The reef is overrated

The beef is overrated

Meryl barrel pharrel teep
Streep leap jeep factor
Actor pactor lactor tactor
Overrated overbite


Did you see her in She-Devil? What was that?
And what about Prime? Did anybody even see that movie?

Just because she’s good at accents.
Just because she’s good at disappearing into a role and disguising herself.
And what was that Mamma Mia! thing? Really! She should take off those overalls.


She’s old
She’s told
She’s brave
She’s bold
She’s brave
She’s gold
She’s cold
She’s polled

Meryl Streep is overrated.
Donald Trump is twitterated.

Post Election News Making Me Sick



My poem was published today at:

Maybe it doesn’t help a whole lot
But for the moment it’s working,
Reading the lesser news stories
Instead of the Hitleresque news.
Staying away from Trump headlines.
Like, for example, reading the story about
How plea-bargaining is on the rise.
Or how James Bond can never be played by a woman.
And then there’s the one about the conjoined twins who are doing well.
I’m happy for them.
Or what about the celebrity gossip?
Did you know that Joe Jonas admits
He’s into whips and leather?

Civilization as I know it is ending,
Whiffs of internment camps wafting across the headlines.
But while the press is still free I distract myself by perusing
Trending Today on the Internet, or
The Thirty Hottest Women On The Planet, or
The 31 Hottest Girls On Instagram You Didn’t Know Existed.
Not that I’m interested but it’s not politics.

My political world is falling apart.
Facebook makes me queasy.
I’ve unfriended many and
My heart is hurting.
I don’t want to know anything else about Bannon
Or read on Twitter how Shaun King is telling us to not say alt-right but
To tell it like it is, saying white supremacy.
Or read his tweets about hate crimes since the election, tallying them up.

My country is turning Hitleresque.
All I can do is hope for the best,
And breathe.